(Reuters/NAN) Uganda has signed a deal for a $151 million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB), to expand a major road linking its capital Kampala with Rwanda, the Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija said.
Kasaija said in Kampala on Thursday that the project was aimed at “increasing overall competitiveness and creating additional wealth and employment”.
The project would result in “enhanced trade and regional integration, and reduction in transport costs”, Kasaija added.
The minister said the 40-year loan would partly finance a new 23 km, 4-lane toll road to help de-congest traffic on an existing road while the government would fund the remainder of the $192 million project.
In recent years, East African countries have been investing heavily in transportation infrastructure to help boost trade.
A significant chunk of that investment has been directed toward upgrading sections of what is known as East Africa’s northern corridor.
The corridor is a transport artery that loops in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, stretching eastward to the Kenyan sea port of Mombasa.
Uganda, a prospective crude oil producer and Africa’s largest coffee exporter, also plans to build a six-lane, 77-km, $1 billion expressway from Kampala to Jinja, an industrial hub in eastern Uganda.
AfDB, the World Bank and the European Union provide most of the funding for Uganda’s transportation infrastructure.